Interesting and educational

Sexual Boundary Violation in Psychotherapy

The violation of clients’ sexual boundaries in psychotherapy is a serious and pressing issue, and is regularly discussed in the ethics committees of psychotherapeutic associations in Slovenia and elsewhere. At the same time, however, it is largely hidden, being ignored in both professional and public discourse, and attempts to prevent this type of behaviour have not always been effective (Hook and Devereux, 2018; Pope, 1990). This article, which I co-authored with my fellow members of the Ethics Committee of the Slovenian Umbrella Association for Psychotherapy, Maša Žvelc and Ana Matijević, therefore seeks to draw attention to this important issue, and to encourage the profession to reflect on it and address it urgently. In the article we define sexual boundary violation in psychotherapy and place it in its regulatory context. We also discuss its prevalence and other important aspects of the issue, including the consequences of sexual violence by therapists. Finally, we propose ways of tackling this important issue. The full article was published in Kairos (Volume 15, Issue 3-4, 2021) in Slovenian with an extended summary in English, and is available here.